Zhiyun is one of the biggest names in the content creation world, making its name by creating some of the best camera gimbal stabilizers and recently breaking into top-tier portable lighting solutions. At MMORPG.com, we’ve been able to spend some time with each of these, and it got us thinking: could we use one light kit for both videos and live streams, saving the cost of additional gear we don’t need? The answer is a resounding yes.
In this article, we’ll be taking a look at the Zhiyun FIVERAY M40 and F100 portable video lights and exploring just how they can be used to enhance your content and bring your live streams to life.
- Current Price:
- CCT Mode Power: 50W+50W
- Max Power Mode Power: 100W
- Runtime (Max Power Non-stop Output): 31min (when fully charged)
- Color Temperature Range: 2700K~6200K
- CCT Mode 6200K/100% Illuminance (LUX): 1200 (1 meter, 2500k temperature, indoor illuminance lower than 0.1lux, 1m test distance.)
- Max Power Mode 4000K/100%
- Illuminance (LUX): 2300 (1 meter, 2500k, temperature, indoor illuminance lower than 0.1 lux, 1m test distance.)
- TLCI Index: ≥97
- CRI Index: ≥96
- Dimming Range: 0~100%
- LED Chip: 324
- HSI Mode: H: Hue 0° - 360°; S: Saturation 0-100%; INT: Intensity 0-100%
- R Illuminance (LUX): 36 (1 meter)
- G Illuminance (LUX): 100 (1 meter)
- B Illuminance (LUX): 19 (1 meter)
- Built-in Battery Capacity
- Built-in Li-ion battery 6S/2600MAH
- Charging Time (PD): 2H56MIN (20V/1.2A 25W, 2500k temperature, the stick light is powered off to charge)
- Charging Time (DC): 3H3MIN (24V 25W-28W, 2500k temperature, the stick light is powered off to charge)
- Charging Time (QC): 3H25MIN (12V/1.5A 9V/2A, 2500k temperature, the stick light is powered off to charge)
- Power Adapter Output Voltage/Current: 24V/5A
- Operation Temperature: -10°-40°
- Product Size: 502*46*47 (W*D*H)
- Net Weight: 950g
- Extension: 1/4" Threaded Hole
- Current Price: $99 (Amazon, Zhiyun)
- Battery Capacity
- Built-in li-ion battery: 6S/2600MAH
- Maximum Power Output: 40W
- Charging Time: 1H50min, 12V/1.12A 13W, supports a maximum of 15W fast charging
- Runtime: 29min (Max Power Non-stop Output)
- Color Temperature Range: 2700K~6200K
- Dimming Range: 0~100%
- 4300K/100% Brightness Illuminance: 1050 lux, 1 meter
- 4300K/100% Brightness Illuminance: 4400 lux, 0.5 meters
- 4300K/100% Brightness Illuminance: 14000 lux, 0.3 meters
- TLCI: ≥97
- CRI(RA): ≥96
- LED Chip: 176 (total), 88 PCS (cool light chips)+88 PCS (warm light chips)
- Operation Temperature: -10°-40°
- Charging Temperature: 0°-45°
- Product Size: 136.5*77.8*29 (W*D*H)
- Net Weight: 320g
- Extension: 1/4 Threaded Hole
FIVERAY F100 and M40 - What Are They?
The FIVERAY F100 and M40 are portable video lights designed to improve the quality of your videos and photos. The M40 is a pocket white light while the F100 is a tall light with HSI color programming and built-in lighting effects. They’re very different types of lights but each is unique and impressive in their own right.
Starting with the smaller of the two, the M40 is a ridiculously bright handheld light. It’s rated at 40W of power, which is well beyond most other lights using this form factor. As a result, it’s able to output up to 14,000 lux at one foot from the subject. Compare that to the Pilotfly Atom RX1 I reviewed back in 2020 which produced only 1,800 lux at one foot. Simply put, that’s enough to light up a close subject like it’s daylight in the middle of the night. At a more reasonable three feet, that drops to 1050 lux which is still very, very good and makes nighttime shooting a realistic possibility using only the M40 as a subject light.
What’s more, the light is accurate enough for professional videography. It has a Color Rendering Index (CRI) of greater than 96 and a Television Lighting Consistency Index of 97. On the right of the light two knobs control brightness and color temperature from the warm amber of 2700K to the cool blue of 6200K, really allowing you to dial in the hue and brightness you need.
This level of brightness and customizability is possible using 176 separate LEDs. There are 88 cool white chips and 88 warm light chips. Across the warmth gradient, there is no visible step like occurs with some lights. It smoothly transitions across the Kelvin ratings.
That many chips running at such intense brightness can create a lot of heat and use a lot of power in the process. To keep things cool, there’s a built-in fan that’s dead silent. It automatically detects when it needs to engage, so you don’t need to turn on active cooling. Despite its pocketable size, it also has a sizeable 2,600mAh battery that’s able to run for 29 minutes at maximum brightness. Turn that down to 70%, which is still quite bright, and the battery life triples to upwards of 90 minutes. The battery can also be charged while working, either from a power bank or using a 15W PD charger plugged into a wall outlet.
The F100, on the other hand, is a beastly light that is impressive physically and in the results it’s able to produce. At 20x2x2 inches, it cuts an impressive figure. Where the M40 takes 40 watts, the F100 pushes that all the way to 100 watts and can output up to 2,300 lux at one meter. The back of the unit is flanked by embedded fans to dissipate the heat, below which is an OLED screen and control dial, giving you full control with a single thumb.
The F100 allows you full creative control of your lighting. Like the M40, it has dedicated beads for warm and cool white, as well as red, green, and blue, bringing the total LED count to 324. White light can be adjusted from 2,700K to 6,200K, so they can be used as key lights or room lights. Colored lighting is selectable using a Hue, Saturation, Intensity (HSI) model, allowing you to dial in your exact color. Like the M40, these lights are designed for video professionals and feature the same CRI and TLCI accuracy ratings.
The F100 also comes with accessories that increase its versatility. A stick light is able to create a uniquely slim light but being able to craft and direct that light is incredibly important. Each stick comes with three separate light modifiers. By default, a set of barn doors is attached. Adjusting these can block light from spilling where you don’t want it and gives you room to play with light and shadows. Each light stick also comes with a grid diffuser, as well as an elastic softbox. Between these options, you can really make the light appear anything from harsh and directed to soft and diffuse.
The F100 also comes with its own zippered carry case, and if you opt for the bundle, a 120-watt fast charger. Opting for the charger increases the price by another $50 but is worth it for continuous, maximum-brightness lighting.
FIVERAY F100 and M40 - Do They Make Sense for Content Creation and Live Streaming?
These two lights make a lot of sense for content creators, but they’re the best fit if you’re creating videos as well as live streams. They’re more expensive than stationary lights because of their built-in batteries and cooling solutions. They also offer exceptional brightness so you can use them in dark environments where other lights would struggle to provide enough luminance.
If you’re streaming at home and leave everything stationary, they’re not a great choice. They’ll work wonderfully but you’ll be paying for features you don’t need. If you see yourself creating content away from that one locked perspective, however, investing in this kit can save you money in the long run.
Often, content creators will invest in what they plan to do first. If you’re streaming, you might invest in something like an Elgato Key Light, which is very good for that one purpose and allows you to control the light over the PC. Should you decide to expand your content and record away from your PC, your only choice is to buy a second light or lighting kit.
Another thing to consider is if you need colored light. We recommend Govee lights often, and they’re phenomenal for decorating your home and gaming den. Things get much more dicey when you’re talking about adding colored light to a YouTube video, and going the cheap route usually doesn’t lead to professional results.
Having tried exactly that, here’s what I found. Low cost RGB lights often lack brightness. They might work, but you’ll need to get that light close to whatever you’re filming to get the intended effect, which usually means buying or jerry-rigging a mount. If you opt for an RGB light that’s not designed for video, you risk flickering issues and visible bands that pass across your video from the refresh rate of the LEDs.
Simply put, good RGB video lights are expensive, even when they’re considered “cheap” by people in the field. You don’t want to double up and get an RGB key light and hope that it’s going to work for a video away from your desk because — and trust me, I’ve done this — you’ll usually spend enough money trying to make it work that you would have been better off buying the right light in the first place.
So the M40 and F100 are great lights that give you the professional results and portability you need to produce multiple types of content. If all you’re doing is streaming, they’re probably going to be too expensive to justify. But if you aspire to do more, they’ll allow you to create a professional stream and be free to create other types of content with a single lighting kit. They’re more expensive up front but can save money in the long-term if you see yourself expanding to videos.
FIVERAY F100 and M40 - How to Use Them for Live Streaming
Setting up these lights for live streaming isn’t difficult. The M40s, with their bright white light and customizable warmth, are perfect for key lights. The F100s are a perfect fit for background and accent lighting to add visual interest. So how do we do that?
The first step is to get the M40s in position. You’ll want to pick up a pair of desk-mountable lighting stands to elevate them. This kit also includes ball heads with ¼-20 fasteners to screw into the bottom of each light. The ball head attachment also makes angling and adjusting the lights much easier than using a simple adapter. You’ll also want to invest in a charger and a pair of USB cables to keep the lights charged.
Once the lights are in place, load up OBS. Turn the lights on and adjust the brightness of each to your liking. There are multiple ways to go about this, but my personal favorite is to use one light as a bounce light off the wall or ceiling while the other shines at you for direct lighting. This combination lights one side of your face more than the other and creates definition with shadows. Adjust the color temperature to create the look you would like. Don’t forget to adjust your camera settings if you already have a custom white balance.
At this point, I also like to string USB cables for portable power for each light but you can also take the lights down when it’s time to recharge. They get incredibly bright, so you won’t need to run them anywhere near maximum brightness, so don’t worry too much about the 29-minute battery rating. Positioned at the back of a desk, you’ll only need to turn them to 20-30% brightness. Still, nightly recharges will be necessary if you’re not connecting them to constant power.
The next step is to leverage the power and customizability of the F100 wand lights to add interest to our background. Often, creators will do this with static lights that are adhered to their walls. And there’s no problem with that, assuming you want the same lighting every time and don’t mind buying extra lights for portable projects or lots of work when you want to change things up. The F100s give you the freedom to make those changes, give you much more brightness and washability than most background lights, and can then be packed up quickly when you’re done.
First off, I highly recommend picking up the light in the bundle with the power adapter. The base light is already pretty expensive compared to traditional background lights, but the additional $50 gets you the excellent 120W continuous power adapter. This will allow you to use the light in perpetuity at maximum brightness while also maintaining a full charge should you need to unplug it and will leave it ready to go for the next project to come after.
There are multiple approaches to lighting your background, but in nearly all, the light should be behind you so your face remains clear and uncolored. Generally speaking, you want to see the light washing in the background but not the light itself. Wand and tube lights can sometimes be pointed at the camera for extra visual interest, but unless it’s quite far back, I would recommend against that here since the brightness can cause major issues for exposure with webcams or auto-adjusting mirrorless cameras.
This picture was taken in a small room with a good amount of surrounding lighting due to windows. With the lights off, the the light washes across the back wall.
With a single light, positioning it on the floor or small table, low and pointing upward is a good approach. In that case, I recommend picking up a small tripod base that will allow it to stand up on its own. Decreasing the distance between the light and the background you’re illuminating (like a wall) can increase its intensity and create a bright spot that washes upward. Increasing the distance will give the background a gentler hue but light up a larger space.
Another alternative is to attach the light higher up and direct it downward. You’ll need a way to attach it and keep the light stable, which is where a flexible tripod mount comes in. Using this, the legs of the tripod are able to wrap around whatever you would like to mount it to, like a shelf, and give you means to adjust the light to hit the background perfectly.
You can also combine more than one light to create a gradient background. Blue and pink, for example, tend to look very good together and will allow you have a centered purple while still seeing the independent colors on each side. Another idea is to position one of the lights behind you where the face is partially visible just behind your head, creating a colored hair light.
No matter how you choose to approach it, the F100 and M40 video lights provide you with plentiful creative opportunities.
The FIVERAY M40 and F100 are outstanding pieces of kit that are more than capable of lighting your live streams. Using the M40 as a key light and the F100 for colored background lighting adds professionalism and attention-grabbing flair. Their portability means these lights are the best choice for content creators that also do standalone videos, allowing you to have one set of lights for all of your different types of content.The product described in this article was provided by the manufacturer for evaluation purposes. This article is not sponsored, no money has been provided by the manufacturer, and products are considered on indefinite loan. Some articles may contain affiliate links and purchases made through this will result in a small commission for the site. Commissions are not directed to the author or related to compensation in any way.